Edie Falco, quirky concepts featured in new fall TV lineup - Catholic Courier
ABC’s “Marvel’s Inhumans” stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt and Iwan Rheon as Maximus.  Photo by ABC/Michael Muller

ABC’s “Marvel’s Inhumans” stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt and Iwan Rheon as Maximus. Photo by ABC/Michael Muller

Edie Falco, quirky concepts featured in new fall TV lineup

NEW YORK — While fresh faces are featured in two quirky concept shows of the new fall TV season, an established and acclaimed actress puts a new spin on the venerable courtroom drama.


Based on the popular Marvel comic book, “Inhumans” airs Fridays from 9 to 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.

In this fantasy, Black Bolt (Anson Mount), the king of the Inhumans, refuses to go war with the humans on earth, which provokes his brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon) to stage a military coup, exiling Black Bolt, Queen Medusa (Serinda Swan), and their advisers to Oahu, Hawaii.

The program should be escapist fun. Its targeted audience appears to be pre-adolescents and teens, yet the show’s violence isn’t suitable for youngsters.

‘The Good Doctor’

“The Good Doctor,” which airs on ABC from 10 to 11 p.m. EDT, contains some sexual material, occasional coarse language and life-and-death medical issues that make it best for adults.

Freddie Highmore (“Bates Motel”) plays Dr. Shaun Murphy, a highly functioning autistic surgeon with savant syndrome. He’s recruited by his mentor, Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), chief of staff at St. Bonaventure Hospital in San Jose, Calif., to join the surgical staff there.

Highmore’s performance will particularly endear himself to the audience. The inherently pro-life theme of the series, moreover, will resonate with Catholic viewers and others committed to the dignity of the disabled.

‘Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders’

Having distinguished herself in HBO’s “The Sopranos” and Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” Edie Falco returns to series TV as attorney Leslie Abramson in the eight-part miniseries “Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.” The show airs on NBC from 10 to 11 p.m. EDT.

As many viewers will recall, Abramson controversially defended Lyle (Miles Gaston Villanueva) and Erik (Gus Halper) Menendez, the Beverly Hills brothers who were convicted in 1996 for the 1989 murders of their parents, Jose (Carlos Gomez) and Kitty (Lolita Davidovich).

The gruesome slayings at the center of the story immediately indicate this is adult fare. Other aspects of the program involving more violence, sexuality and language mean that even many grown-ups may not find this a good choice. Yet, while these problematic elements sometimes veer toward the lurid, they never really cross the line. And they are integral to the subject matter.

“The Menendez Murders” is something of a departure for the venerable franchise. More than the cops and prosecutors, the show focuses on the defendants, their family, friends and associates — as well as on Abramson.

Plots have typically driven “Law and Order” shows, but this series takes the time to establish characters, especially Abramson’s. Adopting Abramson’s extremely curly hairstyle, Falco is excellent as the complicated attorney.

Her work-first attitude causes friction with her husband, Tim Rutten (Chris Bauer). Yet Falco’s Abramson also demonstrates authentic compassion for her clients and the steely determination to defend them zealously. Hearty adult viewers willing to look past the seamy ingredients of this dramatization will appreciate the strength of Falco’s shaded performance.

Byrd is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.

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